The Crew Dragon spacecraft of SpaceX has become the longest-lived astronaut spaceship ever built in America, surpassing an 84-day world record that was set by Skylab-4 space mission nearly 50 years ago.
The spacecraft beat that previous record quite quickly as NASA decided to cannibalize the existing Apollo CSM spaceship and Saturn rocket expertise, development capabilities and the budget for entering its Space Shuttle initiative. After a lot of missteps, the US space agency produced one Shuttle which was terribly complex, suboptimal, unsafe, partially reusable and much expensive for a launch in contrast to Saturn 5.
Ultimately, the Shuttle was refurbished and NASA went on from Saturn 1, Saturn 5 and the Apollo CSM-an integration that helped multi-month crewed flights, single-launch stations and Apollo Program- till its ambitious Space Shuttle.
Irrespective, post an unnecessary and unfortunate 47-year halt, with the help of NASA funding, SpaceX has returned the US and the space agency to its power of envelope pushing. The launch of SpaceX’s third Crew Dragon has beaten the country record for the crewed spaceship longevity on an orbit and is poised to doubling it before the end of the mission.
Notably, the Crew-1 astronauts of Crew Dragon celebrated the achievement virtually while in orbit.